Green Thumb Tips
Echter’s Plant Doctors are available
during store hours seven days a week to answer
your gardening questions. For
accurate diagnosis, it helps to bring in a sample.
- Mums are frost hardy and are a great value for the
spectacular show of color they provide.
- Planting large pots of garden mums, asters, or flowering kale as you remove annuals from beds
and borders gives you a spectacular show of color immediately.
October is the best month to plant your spring-flowering
bulbs. Fertilize with bulb food, super phosphate or bone meal when you plant the bulbs. Water them in thoroughly
- When planting bulbs the
pointed end of the bulb is positioned upward. Plant small, early-flowering bulbs
where they can be seen from indoors, since they bloom when it is usually too
cold to enjoy them outside.
small, early flowering bulbs where they can be seen from indoors, since
they bloom when it is usually too cold to enjoy them outside.
Perennials & Roses
- Plant perennials at the
same time you plant bulbs. You’ll be able to place perennial plants between your
bulb groupings for color from spring to fall.
Water roses less frequently and stop fertilizing to prepare them for winter
dormancy. Don’t forget to water monthly during the winter if there is no natural
snow or rain.
- Green Thumb Winterizer
should be applied in mid October. Your lawn will be nice and green in the
As leaves fall, rake them from lawns and add to compost or shred them and dig
directly into your vegetable garden. Soggy mats of leaves on turf can lead to
- In October, deep water
trees and shrubs every three weeks thoroughly.
Do not fertilize trees now.
- If you see browning needles in your pines and spruces, do not panic. It
is a normal phenomenon. In the fall these plants lose their oldest
needles and keep three or four years of their newest growth.
- Holiday cactus
need special care to get beautiful flowers this December. Buds will form for
the holidays if you keep artificial light off them at night starting in mid
houseplants will benefit from a good leaching. Take them to your kitchen
sink or bathtub and water twice or three times to remove built up soluble
salts remaining from fertilizer or minerals from the water. If left, these
salts can build up and burn the roots and browning the tips and margins of
- Amaryllis is the most majestic of all the holiday plants. To have blooms
at Christmas, plant amaryllis bulbs 7-10 weeks earlier. Choose a pot about
2" wider than the bulb and one that is heavy enough to keep from
tipping. Fill the pot part way with potting mix. Set the
bulb so that the top 1/3 of the bulb will be above the top of the soil
when you fill the pot to 1" below the top edge of the pot. Give
the plant about 4 hours of bright light a day. Plant every 2 weeks
for a spectacular color show all winter.
Feeding the birds outside during the winter is great fun for young and old
alike. You do need to have the right foods for the birds you are trying to
attract. Start early while there are plenty of birds around. Keep the
feeding stations clean and full.
- Clean out bird houses and bird feeders to prevent the spread of diseases for next year’s families.
- After October 15, (or when the water temperature falls below 50º
feed fish Tetra Pond Spring and Fall Diet. Stop feeding fish once
you see ice along the edges of the water in the morning.
- October is the time to clean the organic matter from the bottom of your
pond. Remember the yucky sludge from your pond makes an excellent
addition to your compost pile.
- Choose a pumpkin with a stem
that is at least 2" long. Pumpkins that are darker orange may last longer
and are a bit tougher. When you get it home, clean it with soap and water
to keep bacteria away. Protect from frost.
while outside with a chimenea or fire pit. These outdoor “fireplaces”
will keep you cozy warm while preparing your meal and entertaining
spiders, crickets, millipedes, earwigs and other bothersome bugs
from coming into the house for the winter by spraying Bonide
around the foundation of your house and especially window wells.